When I arrived in Columbia, SC to go to school at the University of South Carolina in the fall of 1985, the very first live band I saw playing was a red-hot rockabilly band called The 88’s, in the soon-closing Golden Spur nightclub space at the Russell House student center. All leather, pompadours, and fat-bodied guitars, it was an auspicious beginning to many years of seeing live music around Columbia. Here’s a picture of the band from around that time:
So you’ll forgive me if I’m overly excited about this Friday’s gig by the Flat Out Strangers, at Doc’s Gumbo Grille on Rosewood Drive. The Strangers are headed up by former 88’s member Robbie Grice, and for this show he has rounded up most of the former 88’s for what promises to be a very special show.
Those former members include original lead singer Screamin’ Rees Lloyd, guitarist Steve Jackson (currently of French rockabilly band the Rockin Royales), and perhaps most notably Mark W. “Doghouse” Winchester, whose upright bass work since the 88’s has included major stints with Emmylou Harris’ Nash Ramblers and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.